This past weekend the New Zealand swimmer Matthew Stanley broke two national swimming records. His idol, Danyon Loader had previously held the records and came to cheer the youngster on.
When a 13-year-old Matthew Stanley met Danyon Loader for the first time, he found himself in awe of the former Olympian.
“I remember we went out to lunch with him and I thought he was so interesting,” Stanley said. “He set a benchmark of swimming in New Zealand for everyone, so I’ve always aimed for what he achieved.”
This week, seven years after that initial meeting, Loader was in the crowd at the national swimming championships, cheering Stanley on as the youngster broke two national records Loader had set 16 years earlier.
Sunday saw Stanley hit 3 minutes 47.67 seconds in the 400m freestyle, qualifying for the London Olympics and beating the 3:47.97 record. The next day in the 200m Stanley won in 1:47.57, again marginally edging out Loader’s time.
Both previous records were set by Loader when he won gold for the events at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Stanley said breaking the records of someone he considered to be his mentor was a unique experience. “It’s really special, I’m over the moon,” he said. “[Loader] was actually… continue reading
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